The first of Land Rover's compact SUV models could arrive in 2021, which would revive the spirit of the original Freelander

Land Rover is readying a raft of new models over the next four years that will take it into new sectors and will culminate in the launch of a model that revives the spirit of the original Freelander.

The diverse new cars, which also include a £250,000 Range Rover coupé, a Defender pick-up truck and a more car-like Range Rover, will cash in on the booming growth of premium 4x4s, with the aim of elevating Land Rover sales and profits to new heights.

Most crucial to the growth targets are new entry-level models. Inspiring these plans is the success of the original Freelander, which invented the idea of a soft-roader when it was launched in 1997 and became a best-seller in Europe.

Opinion: a plethora of new models is just what Land Rover needs 

Land Rover is keen to do this again, this time with models that are even smaller than the Freelander Mk1.

The first of these small models, which will be around 4.2 metres in length, could arrive in 2021, although debate is ongoing about which of Land Rover’s three model strands – leisure (as typified by the Discovery Sport), luxury (Range Rover) or utility (the next Defender) – it will join. The company is considering adding a baby SUV for each of these ranges in the long term.

Autocar understands that a smaller vehicle to sit below the Discovery Sport in the ‘leisure’ range has the greatest appeal within Land Rover, particularly as it would fill an obvious gap in the company’s line-up andwould compete in a segment where it has plenty of history with the Freelander. When the Discovery Sport replaced the Freelander in 2014, the model grew in size and went more upmarket, leaving space in the range for an affordable offering beneath it.

At the time, Land Rover officials told Autocar that the Freelander name had not necessarily been permanently retired. The badge could be ripe for a return on the new small SUV, although Land Rover is wary of adding yet another model name to its range at a time when only the Range Rover strand of its line-up has been firmly established globally, through fears that it could confuse potential buyers.

Worldwide sales of compact SUVs hit 4.92 million in 2016, up 28% from the previous year, according to market analyst Jato. It is one of the fastest-growing segments of the car market, and one in which it is important for Land Rover to have a presence, not only to grow overall sales but also to introduce younger, less affluent buyers to the brand in the hope that they can be retained and buy more expensive models as their families and salaries grow.

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Audi pursues a similar strategy with its ‘Q’ range, starting with the Q2, and the latter will be a notable rival for the baby Land Rover. Other rivals will be the Jeep Renegade and the Mini Countryman. The Q2 is now Audi’s biggest-selling SUV in Europe, having overtaken the Q5, proving how worthwhile a presence in this sector would be for Land Rover.

Autocar originally reported plans for Land Rover’s baby SUVs in December 2014, when prototypes were under review in internal product meetings. The plans are progressing again, having been shelved and revived at least twice in the past due to concerns over the profit margins of small cars. These concerns haven’t gone away for Land Rover, but it is buoyed by the continued growth of the segment, and the success of the Q2 in particular, although the small SUV has yet to receive final sign-off from the company’s top brass.

Another potential model in the range could be a small Range Rover, which Land Rover would expect to either match or outstrip the sales success of the Evoque. Currently, the latter accounts for about one in four Land Rover models sold. The manufacturer has traditionally used Range Rover to spearhead its move into new market segments, and will do so again in 2019 with a more car-like electric crossover model that will be twinned with the next Jaguar XJ.

Counting against a baby Range Rover being the first small Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) product to market, however, is concern that the car’s price and positioning could lead to it eating into Evoque sales, and thus it’s considered the least likely to make production initially.

A compact Defender is said to be the favourite among some company bosses to make production first. That’s because Land Rover has long talked about building a family of Defenders – although the first Defender models will be spun off an entirely different platform to the one proposed for use under the small Land Rovers and Range Rovers.

Whether Land Rover ends up with one, two or three small models in its line-ups, each will likely be based on a smaller platform, understood to be codenamed ‘D10’.

This is a slightly shortened, re-engineered and cheaper version of the D8 architecture on which the Discovery Sport, Range Rover Evoque and Jaguar E-Pace are built.

Given the entry-level positioning of the new models, it is crucial for Land Rover to adapt an existing platform, rather than build a costly bespoke architecture, in order to keep costs down and justify the business case.

If the Defender version of the new small SUV was given the go-ahead, it would mean that the car’s range would use two platforms: a toughened-up version of the D7u – also used under the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery – for the initial Defender range due to be revealed later this year and the D10 underpinnings for the smaller car.

The Land Rovers will most likely be made at the firm’s new plant in Slovakia, which will also start building the Discovery later this year. The JLR plants in the UK are close to full capacity and the company will want to keep production in Europe, given that this is where most of its baby SUVs would be sold. Slovakia has significantly lower labour rates than the UK, helping to keep costs down. Having smaller, lighter and more efficient cars in the model range will also contribute to a significant reduction in Land Rover’s overall fleet CO2 emissions, something that is fundamental to meet strict future environmental targets.

The company will need to address demand for electrified powertrains in smaller model segments by the time the baby Land Rovers reach the market. However, the D8 architecture cannot easily accommodate electrified powertrains, so the D10 platform will need to be re-engineered to achieve this, adding unwanted costs.

Addressing this remains one of the other key factors in determining how quickly Land Rover can bring any of its new compact models to market. 

Land Rover declined to comment on this story. 

Read more 

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Land Rover Discovery review 

Range Rover Sport SVR review

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Comments
73

20 April 2018
Can't see how you can say factorees in england are at full working capacity mate! Land rover and jaguar are sacking workers all over!! On the news! going under???? not buying fork lifts from us no more cash flow problems apparanteley! No one buying there cars now so whos gonna buy this small one?? all to pricey .2021?? To late by then bankrupt???? nice motors though , all the dealers round are way have um , black out windows some armed with guns old bill say . jaguar and land rover need to join together , they can share parts save cash , might help there problems!!!

20 April 2018
sbagnall wrote:

Can't see how you can say factorees in england are at full working capacity mate! Land rover and jaguar are sacking workers all over!! On the news!...To late by then bankrupt????

Hmmm...Three JLR articles today (Defender pickups, baby Land Rovers, E-Pace review), one yesterday (XE 300). No mention of March's terrible sales volumes released last week, had to cover contract manufacturing jobs not being renewed given it was in mainstream media too. The cynical might think this was a bit of a PR offensive...but for what? Q4 results are probably not due for a few weeks yet and they will be BAD.

20 April 2018
k12479 wrote:

sbagnall wrote:

Can't see how you can say factorees in england are at full working capacity mate! Land rover and jaguar are sacking workers all over!! On the news!...To late by then bankrupt????

Hmmm...Three JLR articles today (Defender pickups, baby Land Rovers, E-Pace review), one yesterday (XE 300). No mention of March's terrible sales volumes released last week, had to cover contract manufacturing jobs not being renewed given it was in mainstream media too. The cynical might think this was a bit of a PR offensive...but for what? Q4 results are probably not due for a few weeks yet and they will be BAD.

i hope not mate!!! but you have to ask ! things not looking good at all mate lost his job with them working for ajency , ajency lost contract hes given a months notice , got kids!!!!!!! was good money to 350 notes a week take home!!!!!!

21 April 2018
k12479 wrote:

sbagnall wrote:

Can't see how you can say factorees in england are at full working capacity mate! Land rover and jaguar are sacking workers all over!! On the news!...To late by then bankrupt????

Hmmm...Three JLR articles today (Defender pickups, baby Land Rovers, E-Pace review), one yesterday (XE 300). No mention of March's terrible sales volumes released last week, had to cover contract manufacturing jobs not being renewed given it was in mainstream media too. The cynical might think this was a bit of a PR offensive...but for what? Q4 results are probably not due for a few weeks yet and they will be BAD.

your post are comical, clearly you don’t check any facts before you post. Every firm has been down in Britain because of the new tax system and that will end this month as its now 12 months so some will be up and some won’t.

Europe has become anti British since brexit which is understandable. What isn’t understandable is this stupid idiotic nations love for German cars even when they lie and cheat not to mention their crappy reliablility. Nothing like being smug at A3 and A class drivers when I zoom past their basic underpowered rented VWS and Renaults. 

What you didn’t mention was that America, China and the rest of the world was up with China alone making up the fall in Europe and UK.

21 April 2018
GODFATHER wrote:

...clearly you don’t check any facts before you post...What you didn’t mention was that America, China and the rest of the world was up with China alone making up the fall in Europe and UK.

FACTS: JLR volumes are down 3.8% for the quarter. 7.8% last month. US sales growth has been slowing, March was unexpectadly strong for ALL manufacturers. China sales growth is also slowing. If total volumes are DOWN, then China, USA and ROW cannot be 'making up the fall'. You can look all that up on their website. That their Q3 results were bad is also a fact, was covered all over the internet by every major news source, better still, look them up yourself if you're financially literate.

I don't see many 'facts' mentioned by you, just some rubbish about your insecurities.

29 April 2018
k12479 wrote:

GODFATHER wrote:

...clearly you don’t check any facts before you post...What you didn’t mention was that America, China and the rest of the world was up with China alone making up the fall in Europe and UK.

FACTS: JLR volumes are down 3.8% for the quarter. 7.8% last month. US sales growth has been slowing, March was unexpectadly strong for ALL manufacturers. China sales growth is also slowing. If total volumes are DOWN, then China, USA and ROW cannot be 'making up the fall'. You can look all that up on their website. That their Q3 results were bad is also a fact, was covered all over the internet by every major news source, better still, look them up yourself if you're financially literate.

I don't see many 'facts' mentioned by you, just some rubbish about your insecurities.

Do you even know anything about the car industry in the uk and worldwide? Your clearly a person who is stupid enough to judge a book by its cover. I was talking about their full year sales where sales were above any previous year. As for their quarter sales,

it’s the last month of the year to see a decrease from the new tax system on diesel hence why every manufacturer is showing a decrease in sales. Next month the sales will include sales of the E pace and the revised Range Rovers so good luck with your predictions, I will be here to rub it in. 

Nissan, Vauxhall and JLR cutting production yet everyone doing UNEXPECTEDLY WELL during March. Funny how sales are showing a massive decline though. Only your crappy Germans may be increasing sales especially when they offer me brand new mid range Mercedes C Classes for just under £200 a month on private lease. Still wouldn’t touch that unrealisable crap because unlike clowns like you I know that the Audi’s, Mercs and Bmer are no better then the VW and Renaults they are based on. 

As for JLR,You have got to be a retard if you think that their sales in China are slowing (show the facts to prove it), while in America last year they were recorded recorded sales after the F paces second year after introduction, so it’s only natural for the sales to fall while in the same time they have not introduced anything new to increase sales until the E pace comes along. This is a smaller model so will  see massive increase since its allot smaller and cheaper (plus most importantly a SUV).  

Now only time will tell if your stupid uneducated guesstimation will be correct or my long term market analysis is correct. 

 

 

20 April 2018
sbagnall wrote:

Can't see how you can say factorees in england are at full working capacity mate! Land rover and jaguar are sacking workers all over!! On the news! going under???? not buying fork lifts from us no more cash flow problems apparanteley! No one buying there cars now so whos gonna buy this small one?? all to pricey .2021?? To late by then bankrupt???? nice motors though , all the dealers round are way have um , black out windows some armed with guns old bill say . jaguar and land rover need to join together , they can share parts save cash , might help there problems!!!

Dude Nissan is going under as well. They too are getting rid of staff..... Oh wait no JLR just made over a billion pounds in profit so maybe it's just Nissan?

20 April 2018
TStag wrote:

sbagnall wrote:

Can't see how you can say factorees in england are at full working capacity mate! Land rover and jaguar are sacking workers all over!! On the news! going under???? not buying fork lifts from us no more cash flow problems apparanteley! No one buying there cars now so whos gonna buy this small one?? all to pricey .2021?? To late by then bankrupt???? nice motors though , all the dealers round are way have um , black out windows some armed with guns old bill say . jaguar and land rover need to join together , they can share parts save cash , might help there problems!!!

Dude Nissan is going under as well. They too are getting rid of staff..... Oh wait no JLR just made over a billion pounds in profit so maybe it's just Nissan?

Hey?but this about land rover mate there is another story for nissan . Both trimming hundreds if not thousands of jobs big news mate!!hope it ant true land rover great company make great cars!!!!!!!!???¿??!!?!!!!!!! Although one of the questions that must be asked is, why have they not used some of those billions to diversify their product range further than SUV's? They could have used much of that cash to accelerate design and development programmes to create a much more diversified model range strengthening what are arguably their weakest assets - the Jaguar saloon and sports car ranges. They could have also sped up and expanded the Ingenium project to provide them with a stronger range of engines, their somewhat current limit choice is another one of their weaknesses. By increasing non SUV model ranges they are less reliant on diesels and therefore spread risk across the range and when we do see shifts in buyers tastes, changes to legislation or simply cock ups by ill informed and unqualified Politicians we don't see such big drops in volumes as buyers can stay with the brand but simply switch to more cost efficient models. aint rocket syence mate!!!! But simple economics of business.

20 April 2018
sbagnall wrote:
TStag wrote:

sbagnall wrote:

Can't see how you can say factorees in england are at full working capacity mate! Land rover and jaguar are sacking workers all over!! On the news! going under???? not buying fork lifts from us no more cash flow problems apparanteley! No one buying there cars now so whos gonna buy this small one?? all to pricey .2021?? To late by then bankrupt???? nice motors though , all the dealers round are way have um , black out windows some armed with guns old bill say . jaguar and land rover need to join together , they can share parts save cash , might help there problems!!!

Dude Nissan is going under as well. They too are getting rid of staff..... Oh wait no JLR just made over a billion pounds in profit so maybe it's just Nissan?

Hey?but this about land rover mate there is another story for nissan . Both trimming hundreds if not thousands of jobs big news mate!!hope it ant true land rover great company make great cars!!!!!!!!???¿??!!?!!!!!!! Although one of the questions that must be asked is, why have they not used some of those billions to diversify their product range further than SUV's? They could have used much of that cash to accelerate design and development programmes to create a much more diversified model range strengthening what are arguably their weakest assets - the Jaguar saloon and sports car ranges. They could have also sped up and expanded the Ingenium project to provide them with a stronger range of engines, their somewhat current limit choice is another one of their weaknesses. By increasing non SUV model ranges they are less reliant on diesels and therefore spread risk across the range and when we do see shifts in buyers tastes, changes to legislation or simply cock ups by ill informed and unqualified Politicians we don't see such big drops in volumes as buyers can stay with the brand but simply switch to more cost efficient models. aint rocket syence mate!!!! But simple economics of business.

JLR have invested in cars other than SUVs. But Jaguars best seller is the F pace and Land Rover sells SUVs by the bucket load. The XE is no worse than the 3 series but it’s nit selling. How many new Alfa saloons have you seen? The answer isn’t less SUVs it’s more hybrids and electric cars

20 April 2018
TStag wrote:

sbagnall wrote:
TStag wrote:

sbagnall wrote:

Can't see how you can say factorees in england are at full working capacity mate! Land rover and jaguar are sacking workers all over!! On the news! going under???? not buying fork lifts from us no more cash flow problems apparanteley! No one buying there cars now so whos gonna buy this small one?? all to pricey .2021?? To late by then bankrupt???? nice motors though , all the dealers round are way have um , black out windows some armed with guns old bill say . jaguar and land rover need to join together , they can share parts save cash , might help there problems!!!

Dude Nissan is going under as well. They too are getting rid of staff..... Oh wait no JLR just made over a billion pounds in profit so maybe it's just Nissan?

Hey?but this about land rover mate there is another story for nissan . Both trimming hundreds if not thousands of jobs big news mate!!hope it ant true land rover great company make great cars!!!!!!!!???¿??!!?!!!!!!! Although one of the questions that must be asked is, why have they not used some of those billions to diversify their product range further than SUV's? They could have used much of that cash to accelerate design and development programmes to create a much more diversified model range strengthening what are arguably their weakest assets - the Jaguar saloon and sports car ranges. They could have also sped up and expanded the Ingenium project to provide them with a stronger range of engines, their somewhat current limited choice is another one of their weaknesses. By increasing non SUV model ranges they are less reliant on diesels and therefore spread risk across the range and when we do see shifts in buyers tastes, changes to legislation or simply cock ups by ill informed and unqualified Politicians we don't see such big drops in volumes as buyers can stay with the brand but simply switch to more cost efficient models. aint rocket syence mate!!!! But simple economics of business.

JLR have invested in cars other than SUVs. But Jaguars best seller is the F pace and Land Rover sells SUVs by the bucket load. The XE is no worse than the 3 series but it’s nit selling. How many new Alfa saloons have you seen? The answer isn’t less SUVs it’s more hybrids and electric cars

Blimey stag you xpert mate!?! Big time, see lots of alphas mate sturgess alpha garage behind me flat!!!! Xe miles better than beemer mate!
The issue is with plant volume. Had JLR diversified earlier by introducing more model lines and greater drivetrain choices they may not be faced with the issues that confront them now. It's good to have headline grabbing PHEV, Hybrid and full electrification to halo models but now and certainly for the short to medium term their market share, whilst climbing, is still too low to produce the volumes needed to fill plant capacity.
Wee can honly hope though mate!!! don't want to see hundreds more on dole mate!!!!

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